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MG MGF Technical - PROBLEM help me!

Hello,my name is Matt and i'm french

I hope you could help me.

I own a MGF 1.8 MPI pack 2000 with 48800km. As my car is not under warranty anymore, I decided to do a little service check between two Rover services (every 20.000km).

Monday I changed in order: fuel filter, air filter, oil filter and oil change (Castrol gtx 5w40 and new joint).

I started the car and let it turn at idle speed for 10 minutes. During this time I checked all levels. No problem.

Then I decided to go for a road test and then problems started to occur:

At first all seems to be ok but after 100 km, I noticed a lack of power when I accelerated, with a loud noise as the engine is drowning. End of the road trip was horrible; I couldnt go above 3000 rpm because engine was stumbling and engine speed was falling down. Finally the car stopped.

Idle speed was ok and I could drive at first gear to stop the car on the side of the road. Then I called a friend who towed my car in my houses park.

Wednesday I checked everything again and I noticed that Ive forgotten to fix the spring clip holding the flexible air duct on the air filter. I tightened the jubilee clips and checked the air filter. I checked the spark plugs to and surprise, one had its ceramic broken (maybe when I pulled it off I dont know). So I run to Rover to buy 4 new spark plugs and I replaced them.

But this does not solve the problem. Engine still stumbles with now a squeaky noise (belt or mechanical noise I dont know where it comes). Noise is louder when I accelerate.

So here am I. My car is out of order and I prefer waiting your opinion before taking my car to a Rover dealer.

I hope someone could help me, I suppose a blocked injector or a body throttle problem but how can I test them?

Thank you for your answers.


Matt (who is very very sad and promises never touch his MGF anymore).

Eeek sounds nasty.

Clip should not cause any problems.

First thing to do is check where the noise comes from, use a length of hose against your ear.

Check you haven't knocked any connections, in fact unplug everything you can see in order and spray contact cleaner onto the contacts and reconnect.

Check you haven't overfilled with oil (oil only reaches max when engine is 15 mins after stopping)
Will Munns

Matt, really sorry to hear this :o(

Easiest solution may be to get your garage to investigate for you - but I can't see how you've caused this problem by performing a simple service.

To re-cap your car's problem:
The engine will run and idle, but it looses power and now will not rev beyond 3000rpm. There is also a squeak from somewhere.

All this started after you changed the oil and the air/oil/fuel filters.

If the engine fails to run it can only be down to either a problem in supplying fuel, or a problem with the ignition system.

So the following checks need to be made:
A. Fuelling

1. Is the fuel pump still working? The pump is usually audible when you turn the ignition to position 2. There ought to be audible clicks from the relay pack as the pump comes on. If no pumping, has the inertia cut-off switch been triggered? (Unlikely as the car still runs)
2. Is fuel getting to the fuel rail? Is it at adequate pressure?

B. Ignition
1. Remove the spark plugs and inspect the condition of the electrodes (this will tell you alot about fuelling - if they're 'wet' for example then you know that fuel is reaching the combustion chambers and the engine has been running rich.
2. Check to see if you are getting a spark at each spark plug (reattach the HT lead, ground the electrode and turn over the engine - but be careful)
3. Check the condition of the distributor and the rotor arm - replace if in any doubt.
4. Check that all the sensor connections are all intact - I wonder if one has become disconnected when you were servicing the car...

Not a comprehensive list by anymeans, but should start to give you clues as to what has happened.

Good luck Matt!
Rob Bell

just a thought but is it possible to fit the fuel filter on the wrong way round and dump some particles into the injectors?

If it's clean Tony, what particles would be there to block the injectors?

Matt - I assume you've fitted a MG fuel filter rather than one from another manufacturer?
Rob Bell

good question, I had one once from an independent (not for a MG) and it had a piece of paper in the box saying that the filtration was progressive and must not be fitted the wrong way as any of the coarser filtration material would not be trapped - thought it was a bit odd as filters are supposed to stop stuff not add it :)

I was thinking about the fiter being backwards, it's possible that it restricts flow when put in reverse, but it would be careless to a fault to make it break up if used backwards (so very unlightly I think).

And a fuel problem should not by itself cause nasty noises
Will Munns


Check you have oil in it?

sounds terrible

get a man that can to sort it!

Hello everybody!

Thanks for your answers

Will:i checked all the connections,all is ok
i will spray contact cleaner tomorrow.
i didn't overfill oil,i checked the level 3 times

Rob: the fuel pump is working when i turn the ignition on position 2
and i checked the inertia cut-off switch is ok
the fuel get to the fuel rail but i don't know the fuel pressure
the car started at the idle speed,so the fuel is reaching the combustion chambers..
tomorrow i will remove the spark plugs to check if they're wet and after i will check if there is a spark at each spark plug
My fuel filter is a MG one!!

Neil: yes there is oil in it!!!
I asked to my friens who know about engines and they didn't find anything :-(

that's all for now
to be continued...


Bonsoir ,Matt,
It sounds as if you may have fitted the fuel filter the wrong way round," there should be an arrow pointing to which way round it should be fitted ". if the car was running ok before there is nothing else you could have done wrong !Also check the oil filter , there have been an isolated case where the filter is blocked in manufacture.
I am asuming you did not jack the car up under the engine "1. Also you should not use castrol gtx, you need a 10-40 semi synthetic at least and gtx is a convensional mineral oil. castrol magnatec 10-40 is ideal.
R J Hemphill


I find the source of the squeaky noise,the collector gasket is broken,he whistle because of gas leakage..
I will change this tomorrow and see if the problem is solved..

to be continued...



I had a similar problem in September. I began to hear a bit of a whistle (almost a tapping sound) which increased with RPM, this got to a point where the noise was unbearable. It turned out to be a cracked exhaust manifold. A leaking exhaust manifold would give very similar symptoms and also drain a huge amount of power from the engine.
This is not an expensive thing to fix, so figures crossed this may be the problem...

I don't know why the car would stop though... :o/

Don't let this put you off working on your own car. It is a learning process and there will be a few errors but it's very rewarding, stick with it.

tim woolcott

Fuel filter the wrong way around, or air getting into the fuel - loose connection??

Noise is air leak (either air being drawn in or blown out)

Dislodged connection to ECU sensor

Check, and Check again
Paul Lane

I presume you checked that the HT leads were replaced in the correct order???

Sam Murray

This thread was discussed between 05/03/2004 and 11/03/2004

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